Getting a visa for Poland is relatively straightforward, especially as the country is party to the Schengen Agreement. Nationals of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), as well as nationals of designated countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, are afforded visa-free entry into Poland for holiday or business purposes for up to 90 days.
Travellers who do not fall into the above categories are required to apply for a Schengen visa to visit Poland. All travellers entering Poland should have a passport valid for at least three months past the date of entry.
Schengen visas for Poland
Those who apply for a Schengen visa will need to gather the required documents, complete the visa application form, and submit these to the Polish consulate or embassy in their home country before they travel. Travellers may have to appear in person and all documents must be in English or Polish.
If applying for a Schengen visa to travel to Poland for business purposes, it may be necessary for expats to include a letter of invitation from the Polish business party and a letter from their local employer stating the purpose of their visit. If attending a conference, proof of registration and accommodation may be required.
In some cases, applicants may be asked to provide additional documents at the discretion of the Polish embassy or consulate. It's common for a person to be asked for proof of employment and proof of residence in their home country as an indicator that they will return home after their trip.
Residence permits for Poland
Those wishing to stay in Poland for longer than 90 days for work or study, or for family reasons, are required to apply for a residence or temporary residence permit.
Applications for residence permits for Poland should be made to the appropriate regional office where the expat intends to live in Poland.
Residence permits are granted for a maximum of two years and can be subsequently renewed for a further two-year period.
Expats entering Poland may be required to show proof of sufficient resources to support themselves financially while living in Poland as well as sufficient health insurance for the duration of their stay.
Once an expat has successfully submitted their residence permit application, they will receive a residence card, which serves as confirmation of their identity during their stay in Poland.
*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
►For information on obtaining a work visa, see Work Permits for Poland
►Read Doing Business in Poland for information about Polish business culture
"It took a couple of months for me to get my Polish residency, which also allowed me to work. It involved a lot of paperwork and a bit of expense, but there was no issue with getting it granted."
Read more about expat life in Poland in our interview with Australian expat Rose.
Are you an expat living in Poland?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Poland. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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